Labuan Bajo Travel Guide and its surroundings on the island of Flores

Labuan bajo

Labuan Bajo Travel Guide and its surroundings on the island of Flores

The name Florès was bequeathed to it by Portuguese sailors. They criss-crossed the region in search of spices, but found only flowers here: “flores” in Portuguese.

Five centuries later, the island is not very popular with tourists. The only really touristic city is Labuan Bajo, the one we are going to present to you in this article. Its success is due to the nearby Komodo National Park, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These small islands are home to the famous Komodo dragons, the largest lizards on Earth. The marine sanctuary that surrounds them is also said to be one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world.

What to visit in Labuan Bajo?

The city

This is the starting point for other attractions in the region, including Komodo National Park, Rinca Island as well as those of Seraya and Kanawa. This small town is particularly famous for its magnificent bay where many fishing boats dock.
Regarding the city of Labuan Bajo itself, there is not much to report. It is a port city, with its shops and restaurants.
Long before it became an essential detour for tourists, the town of Labuan Bajo was a small, quiet fishing village. Over time, the city has grown and many tourist facilities have emerged on site. Now, there are ATMs, exchange offices, pharmacies, diving centers, restaurants, pizzerias, hotels, etc.

Labuan Bajo, a port in West Flores, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia; January 2020
Labuan Bajo town. Tiket2, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the fish market

A visit to this coastal town is an opportunity to discover its famous fish market. Sales usually take place at the end of the day in the small local port. In addition, in the early evening, many cooks begin to set up their stands on site to offer gourmets (locals and foreigners) various dishes. On the menu, we find, among other things, grilled fish, fried corn pancakes, fried squid, fried plantains, fried pancakes, etc.

Take a ride on the surrounding hills

To have a breathtaking view of Labuan Bajo, its magnificent bay and the islets that make it up, it is recommended to go to the hills around the city. This means of transport is also offered for rent by the inhabitants. Rental companies often wait for their customers on the main street. In general, the rental price is 70,000 IDR per day, which corresponds to approximately 4.20 €. In addition, the viewpoint named “Amelia Sea View” is an address appreciated by both locals and tourists. This place is dominated by meadows and vegetation. It is located opposite Labuan Bajo, but offers a breathtaking panorama of the bay, especially at sunset time. It should be noted that the charm of the place always remains exceptional whatever the time of day.

Batu Cermin and Batu Payung

Inside the city, in the hills, is the complex system of caves and canyons of Batu Cermin. Technically the name refers to a specific rock in one of the canyons and translates to “mirror stone” – a crack in the canyon wall shines a beam of sunlight onto this rock, polished by time and erosion , making it shine like a mirror. But it’s the whole system that’s worth exploring: crawling through narrow underground passageways, weaving through canyons so narrow you have to step aside, and climbing limestone cliffs to stand proudly on natural bridges above. The setting is otherworldly, worthy of a sci-fi movie – although no movies have been filmed here, perhaps because the location is too remote and unknown outside of Indonesia.

On the way to Batu Cermin, there is Batu Payung, “umbrella stone”. Guess what, it’s an umbrella-shaped stone. There’s not much to see, but it kind of completes the powerful impression of Batu Cermin’s system.

Goa Batu Cermin - Indonesia 1
Goa Batu Cermin. Thomas Fuhrmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Goa Rangko

This is yet another location that Hollywood producers should have used for a fantasy or adventure movie. Johnnie Depp, in his role as Sparrow Jack, would fit in there, as would Davie Jones. Located in the middle of nowhere and accessible only by boat, Goa Rangko is a natural cave that hides a lagoon at the bottom, with stalagmites sticking out of the acrylic blue pool. The water is salty – it’s basically an underground section of the sea. The submerged part of the cave is at least as long as the upper part, but exploring it requires scuba diving and caving skills.

With a bit of courage, you can swim in the dark and then maybe dive as the ceiling drops to the surface of the water, but there’s a limit to how far you can travel. The local boys, who probably already have gills, don’t seem to have such limitations. The sea in the cave is the same temperature as outside, i.e. body heat – expect one of the best and most unusual swimming experiences on the planet. For those who prefer bathing in the sun, there is a wild beach just outside Goa Rangko and some beautiful karst scenery for a walk if you have time before heading back to Labuan Bajo.

What to visit in surroundings on the island of Flores

Pink Beach (Redis Beach)

Pink beach in Labuan Bajo is often called the Red beach by the locals. The sand is slightly pinkish because of small creatures called Foraminifera that cover the surface of the beach.

The sea view is beautiful and doesn’t make you bored. The gradations of red and white sand will make you feel like you are in heaven. You can also snorkel to see the incredible corals and corals.

This beach is one of the best Labuan Bajo attractions for tourists from all over the world. It is the perfect place to swim, sunbathe, hike, watch the sunset or snorkel.

Manta Point

Manta Point is a spot in the middle of the sea that will give you a different sensation of swimming and snorkeling. You can swim with the Manta Ray, even touch it. This is one of the biggest attractions in Labuan Bajo

Padar Island

Padar Island is famous since a few years ago from the reviews of tourists who visit there. Although Padar Island is no longer inhabited by Komodo dragons, the beauty of the island is still captivating. You can hike to the highest point of Padar Island to enjoy the views and landscapes. For those of you who like photography, hunting for sunrises and beautiful views of Padar Island are highly recommended activities.

The beauty of the hills and the beautiful sunset and sunrise is one of the amazing sights. You can also do pre-wedding photos with amazing backgrounds here.

If you go with a large group, you should rent a phinisi boat such as the Phinisi boat or you can also join a tour program to Labuan Bajo. Your trip will definitely be more fun if you are together with friends or office groups on a sailing tour to this coolest national park.

Before you come, it is also important to know about the zoning in the Komodo National Park area. By knowing the zoning, you can find out which areas are safe and not for you to visit.

Pulau Padar adalah pulau ketiga terbesar di kawasan Taman Nasional Komodo, setelah Pulau Komodo dan Pulau Rinca
Padar Island is the third largest island in the Komodo National Park area, after Komodo Island and Rinca Island. Dewicilay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The must-see attractions of the region

Around Labuan Bajo, you will find several key tourist addresses such as:
– Komodo National Park
– The Cunca Wulang waterfall accessible via the “Trans-Flores Highway”
– Pink Beach
– The island of Kanawa, Rinca, Seraya and Sumbawa
– Mata Point (diving spot)

How to get there?

To go to Labuan Bajo, you can take a plane from Denpasar airport in Bali. The journey takes an average of 55 minutes. The ticket price costs around IDR 1 150 000 per person, which is equivalent to around €75. Regular flights from Jakarta also connect the local airport which is located not far from the city.

In addition, the boat is also another option to reach Labuan Bajo. From the port of Bali or Lombok, many boats are prepared to serve the small town.

Komodo Island in Flores | Complete Travel Guide

Photo credit (main picture): Jorge Láscar from Melbourne, Australia (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons
Foto File: Pink sunset in Labuan Bajo from the hotel (17118708892).jpg

Photo description: Labuan Bajo is a fishing town located at the western end of Flores in the Nusa Tenggara region of east Indonesia.Once a small fishing village, Labuan Bajo (also spelled Labuhanbajo and Labuanbajo) in Flores is now a busy bustling center of tourism. It is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island, home to the famous komodo dragons. Nearby Kanawa and Seraya Islands are a great opportunity to do some diving and snorkeling and every evening at Kalong Island thousands of flying fox bats put on an amazing display. Within a few hours of Labuan Bajo can be found several waterfalls, trekking and many diverse beaches.

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *